Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 1/28
Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for.
These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.
Daredevil #16 (Marvel) I really wasn’t a fan of this one, but I recognize that it was a better comic than I thought. It just wasn’t my cup of tea the day I read it (which was about an hour before I wrote this). Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Hulk #2 (Marvel) There aren’t enough comics like this one being published anymore, especially from Marvel. This is essential reading for folks who want a character driven Hulk story that’s a lot deeper than you’d expect. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers #1 (Dark Horse) The art in the comic has an unearthly quality to it; you’re never quite sure what’s going on, and yet you just seem to understand – and enjoy it – all at the same time. I know that doesn’t make sense, and nor should it, but there’s no other way I can describe the book to you. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read.
Solo #4 (Marvel) I’m not sure how long Marvel will keep this book around, but while it’s here it’s worth giving it a read. Solo may not be setting the world on fire critically or commercially, but it’s filling an entertaining niche; the lone agent taking everybody down, and having fun while he does it. This is a silly, fun comic that you just can’t help but enjoy. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Inhumans vs X-Men #3 (Marvel) – This is how you do an event. Similar to Justice League vs Suicide Squad, this gets straight to the action, and doesn’t waste much time on other things. Sure you get the “we are going to die!” from the mutants and the “we are at war!” from the Inhumans, but it’s the fun fight sequences that really make this series shine. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Justice League of America: Killer Frost Rebirth #1 (DC) -In the final one shot before we get the new JLA, the spotlight is on Killer Frost. I really love what Orlando and Williamson have been doing with her character and I am intrigued by JLA and her part on the team. This issue was solid, as most of these one shots were, and focuses on Frost and Waller. It was an interesting premise and at times felt like I was watching a small section from an episode of Oz or another prison drama. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Teen Titans #4 (DC) -I have enjoyed this series, and this issue continued the story of Damian, his evil grandfather, his former team of assassins and his new team of titans. With Robin returning home, we see him take on a trial by combat against his former teammate who is now the leader of this young team of assassins. There is some nice conversation with the team on coming to Robin’s aide, and even comparing him to their former friend, Tim Drake. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Thanos #3 (Marvel) – This must be a fun series for Lemire to write. Thanos is a walking army and we see him take on three phases of the Shiar guard in this issue, as they work together to defeat him. After a classic character takes Thanos on, you have to wonder what is next, and if this ties into The Mighty Thor and it’s current storyline and event. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Black Panther #10 (Marvel)** – Don’t look now, but this was the second perfectly readable (if far from great) issue of this comic in a row. Unfortunately, it comes with just one more chapter to go (funny, I thought it was supposed to run 12?), and is probably a classic example of “too little, too late.” Ta-Nehisi Coates’ philosophizing may be a bit “wordy” for some, but it’s what he does best, and all the sitting around and talking actually leads to something by the end this time out. Brian Stelfreeze does a nice job of keeping the story flowing visually despite having next to nothing to sink his artistic “teeth” into, so what the heck — two fine creators hitting something of a stride on their way out the door certainly beats them never hitting it at all, right? Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read
Doom Patrol #4 (DC/ Young Animal)** – Better late than never, Gerard Way and Nick Derington deliver the fourth installment of their surreal spectacle of super-heroics, and it’s honestly quite surprising to see how quickly and easily things are coming together after their all-over-the-place (but in an enjoyable way) opening salvo. Heck, even that seemingly-out-of-left-field two-page epilogue in issue #1 finally makes sense — thanks to a very old and dear friend who all long-time DP fans will love to see back in the fold, even if it’s only in flashback (for now) form. Lots and lots and lots to like in these pages. Overall: 8.5. Recommendation: Buy
Surgeon X #5 (Image)** – We lost the great John Watkiss this week, and that makes this issue and the next of “Surgeon X” worth picking up even though it remains, as it has been from the start, a pretty lousy comic. Sara Kenney has an interesting premise going for her with this series, but she can’t write worth a damn — clunky, preachy, overly-expository dialogue weighs down every single fucking word balloon in this book, characterization is subsumed under a tidal wave of points that she’s trying to make, and each individual issue’s “central topic” is forced to the foreground seemingly from nowhere, only to completely disappear next time out. Virtual reality surgery is the “hot topic” she’s set her sights on this time, and it’s shoved down your throat with the sort of accidental glee that can only arise from sheer incompetence. Karen Berger is one of the best editors to ever work in comics, but she seems to be spending all her time co-ordinating the various aspects this project, rather than whipping her author’s downright embarrassing scripts into something vaguely approximating readability. Watkiss’ art, however, is as meticulous, visionary, and engrossing as ever, each panel representing a veritable feast for the eyes. All this leads me to the most unconventional “final score” I’ve ever given a comic. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Buy — for the art alone
No Angel #2 (Black Mask)** – A massive step back from a highly readable and thoroughly intriguing first issue, this time out Eric and Adrianne Palicki choose to info-dump all their story’s secrets out onto us in one go, removing all sense of mystery from the proceedings over the course of just a handful of pages. Ari Syahrazad’s art starts strong on page one, but devolves as things progress, and frankly I’d rather see him doing a poor man’s approximation of Alex Maleev like he did last time than the poor man’s approximation of John Watkiss that he does here. What first looked like a book that could have a nice, long, healthy run suddenly seems like a four-parter that ran out of gas halfway through. Overall: 2 Recommendation: Pass
Odyssey Of the Amazons#1 (DC)– As legendary as Amazonia is , one would think that there were adventures before Wonder Woman and this book tells such a story. We are introduced to General Hessia and her band of warriors from every part of the globe who are incidentally on a five year journey. We meet a lot of battle fatigued warriors with their own vices and indiscretions. Before book’s end , the crew must rescue their sisters from Giants from the land of Odin. Overall: 10 Recommendation:Buy NOW!!!
Spider-Man/Deadpool MU#1 (Marvel)– Taking place during Marvel’s Monsters Unleashed event, we catch-up with everyone’s favorite odd couple in out of all places, Canada. Spider-Man and Deadpool are transported to girls boarding school in Toronto via seance. The seance didn’t only transport these two goofballs but also one of the monsters they were fighting in Philadelphia. What soon follows is Spidery being taken over by a monster and Deadpool being eaten by one. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!
Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).